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25 MAY 2018

ALF Hosts Biliary Atresia / Pediatric Liver Transplant Meetings in Salt Lake City

The American Liver Foundation is steadily extending our activities to new areas. In addition to new educational programs, an upgraded website and coalitions with other organizations serving similar populations, our geographical reach is increasing. In the last twelve months, we have brought ALF to places as far apart as Maine and Hawaii.

Most recently, I joined the Desert Southwest Division’s Director, Gina Bartes, and Kara Kunz, the Division’s Community Outreach & Education Manager, in Salt Lake City, Utah, for a conference focused on biliary atresia and the pediatric liver transplant patient. Held at Ronald McDonald House in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 20th, the program was attended by a roomful of biliary atresia/liver transplant patient families, including children ranging in age from five months to fourteen years.

Professionals including a transplant surgeon, pediatric gastroenterologist and a transplant social worker, spoke about pediatric liver conditions and the importance of early detection of pediatric liver disease and transplantation. A patient/parent panel of four families shared their stories and discussed their experiences.

The event was organized by Manuel Rodriguez-Davalos, MD, Assistant Professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and a practicing transplant surgeon. Linda Book, MD, Medical Director for the Pediatric Liver Disease and Transplant Program at Primary Children’s Hospital described the transplant procedure and shared a beautiful digital photo journal she had created of a pre-to-post pediatric transplant journey and brought the room to tears. Barbara Robinson, Transplant Social Worker with Primary Children’s Hospital, spoke about her role in the transplant process.

Gina Bartes commented, “I am thrilled to be part of the American Liver Foundation right now. There are so many advancements in treating liver disease and I’m pleased that we are making progress in reaching an increasing number of people with information and support. Our Desert Southwest team takes great pride in listening to the community of patients, caregivers, and medical professionals and delivering our mission.”

Tom Nealon
President & CEO
American Liver Foundation

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